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CBS's Rose Boosts Liberal Talking Point About Rich Wanting to be Taxed More

On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose promoted a talking point used by liberals, including President Obama, that Warren Buffett and other billionaires want their taxes raised. After playing a clip of Chris Christie ripping Buffett, Rose asked Jack Welch, "Do you agree with the governor of New Jersey, or do you agree with...Buffett, that there ought to be more tax on the super-rich?"

When Welch replied, "I don't feel under-taxed in any way at all," Rose insisted that "most of the people that are in your economic bracket tell me they're prepared to pay more taxes if, in fact, they could be sure where the money was going."

The morning show anchor devoted much of his interview of the former CEO of General Electric to economic issues. Rose first asked his guest about the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossing the 13,000 mark on Tuesday: "So tell us what it means, that the Dow Jones has had this success that's it had yesterday, and does it mean, in fact, that the economic recovery is under way?"

Welch answered by affirming that "the economy is picking up." The CBS journalist then followed up by asking, "When you look at what the President is proposing, you have been a long-time advocate of lower corporate taxes. Is the President going in the right direction, as far as you're concerned?" The billionaire replied, "Clearly, he is, and ...this is the political season, as you know better than anybody else, and we're going to have dueling tax proposals, and as long as they go in this direction, it's all good. But there won't be anything done this year."

Near the end of the segment, Rose rephrased his first question to Welch: "But you believe in economic recovery, reflected by the stock market, may be under way?" In his answer, the former CEO highlighted that "we have printed $7 trillion of money since 2007...In the last six months, there's been 103 easings in financial policy to enhance growth. Everyone...is priming the pump. And so, this economy and the global economy is going to recover."

Earlier in the interview, the CBS anchor raised the issue of rising gasoline prices in the context of the upcoming general presidential election: "Could gas prices be a big issue for the President if, in fact, they continue to rise?" Rose also asked, "If Rick Santorum wins in Michigan and becomes the nominee, can you support him?" Welch replied, "I will support any Republican nominee against the current incumbent."

The full transcript of Charlie Rose's interview of Jack Welch, which began 10 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of Wednesday's CBS This Morning:

CHARLIE ROSE: With us now, Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric and founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute. Good morning.

JACK WELCH, FOUNDER, JACK WELCH MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE: Good morning, Charlie. How are you?

[CBS News Graphic: "Welch's Wisdom: Ex-GE CEO On Oil, Stocks, Politics"]

ROSE: So tell us what it means, that the Dow Jones has had this success that's it had yesterday, and does it mean, in fact, that the economic recovery is under way?

[CBS News Graphic: "Dow Jones Industrial Average Yesterday: 12,965.69, [Up] 15.82"]

WELCH: Well, it is a reflection of the better economic times that we have seen over the last five months or so. There's no question the economy is picking up. You've seen it in all of the numbers. It's even moved in the last few weeks into the construction area, where you're seeing a glimmer of hope where there hasn't been any light at all.

ROSE: Because of housing?

WELCH: Yes.

ROSE: When you look at what the President is proposing, you have been a long-time advocate of lower corporate taxes. Is the President going in the right direction, as far as you're concerned?

WELCH: Clearly, he is, and it's- this is the political season, as you know better than anybody else, and we're going to have dueling tax proposals, and as long as they go in this direction, it's all good. But there won't be anything done this year.

ROSE: Speaking of this- speaking of taxes, I want you to listen to this soundbite of Governor [Chris] Christie on television last night. Here it is.

PIERS MORGAN (from CNN interview): How many billionaires are there in New Jersey?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R), NEW JERSEY: Don't know the answer to that question.

MORGAN: Roughly?

CHRISTIE: I really- I have not a clue-

MORGAN: But they're-

CHRISTIE: How about this? The top one percent of people in New Jersey pay 41% of the income tax.

MORGAN: Are all the billionaires in New Jersey, under this plan, going to get 10 percent income tax reduction?

CHRISTIE: Everybody will get 10 percent- every person-

MORGAN: You know where I'm going at with that.

CHRISTIE: I understand where you're headed-

MORGAN: Warren Buffett keep screaming to be taxed more.

CHRISTIE: Well, he should just write a check and shut up.

ROSE (live): (Welch laughs) Do you agree with the governor of New Jersey, or do you agree with Warren Buffett, that there ought to be more tax on the super-rich?

WELCH: Charlie, I paid over 30 percent every year. It depends where you coming from. If you're in a corporation and you get a W-2 form, you pay 28 to 35 percent. If you're an investor, you get a different number. It depends on where we want to go. I don't feel under-taxed in any way at all.

ROSE: But most of the people that are in your economic bracket tell me they're prepared to pay more taxes if, in fact, they could be sure where the money was going.

WELCH: Well, I mean, that's an argument that people have, and if we thought it would go to deficit reduction and not more silly programs, maybe that would be a good argument.

ROSE: What do you see as the crucial issue in the Michigan debate between Rick Santorum and your candidate, Mitt Romney, the man that you have supported?

WELCH: I think it's going to be- it's going to depend on who has the best economic program; who, in fact, can can assure the American people that they're interested in jobs, creating a better economy, jobs for everybody. And I think the Republicans have gotten a little bit off the jobs kick in the last two weeks, whether it's the media or their own message-

ROSE: You mean focusing on social issues?

WELCH: And gotten into social issues- yeah, and I don't think that's going to be constructive in this debate.

ROSE: Could gas prices be a big issue for the President if, in fact, they continue to rise?

WELCH: Well, the President's getting a bit of a break here, Charlie, in that natural gas has dropped precipitously. It's now two and a half dollars per million BTU's. And, you know, over 16 million homes in America are heated with natural gas. So they're seeing a wonderful income break this year. But, of course, gasoline prices have always been a political hotbed, whether it's Republican or Democrat, and the Republicans will use it to their advantage, if we see numbers over $4 across the spectrum.

ROSE: If Rick Santorum wins in Michigan and becomes the nominee, can you support him?

WELCH: I will support any Republican nominee against the current incumbent.

ROSE: Do you believe, as Speaker [Newt] Gingrich said here yesterday on this program, that it's important, in the interest of national security, to defeat President Obama?

WELCH: No. That's something- I'm not going there. I'm talking about the economy- about more jobs for more people, a better society. I'm all there, and I'm not into the foreign policy issue. I think the President has done a reasonable job in foreign policy. In my opinion, it's been one of his strongest areas.

ROSE: But you believe in economic recovery, reflected by the stock market, may be under way?

WELCH: I mean, Charlie, we have printed $7 trillion of money in the- since 2007, around the world. In the last six months, there's been 103 easings in financial policy to enhance growth. Everyone is pumping- is priming the pump. And so, this economy and the global economy is going to recover. Greece- look what they just started bailing out Greece. So the economy is going to recover- there's no question.

ROSE: From Florida, Jack Welch, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

WELCH: Thanks, Charlie.

— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.